What are mangos good for?

Mango: "King of Fruits"
Botanical name: Mangifera Indica

Mango Nutrition Facts

As one of the most popular fruits in many parts of the world,1 mangos belong to the same family of plants as pistachios and cashews, which are also tropical, fruit-bearing trees known for their resin ducts in the bark.2 Depending on the variety, mangos can take on various shapes, including oval, round, slender and heart-shaped.3

Mangos were first cultivated in South Asia thousands of years ago, eventually spreading to Southeast Asia during the 5th and 4th century B.C.4 Today, mangos consumed in the U.S. are produced in Mexico, Ecuador, Peru, Brazil, Guatemala, Haiti and Nicaragua, according to the National Mango Board.5

Simply looking at mangos is not an indicator of their ripeness, since they come in various colors.6 The best way to choose a mango at the store comes down to its firmness as opposed to its appearance.

To check this fruit’s ripeness, push gently against the skin with your thumb. It's perfect when it gives ever so slightly to gentle pressure, and may also have a fruity aroma on the stem end.7 If unripe, you'll want to keep it at room temperature — not refrigerated — for several days.8

To speed up the ripening process, place it in a brown paper bag for a few days, checking at regular intervals. You can also submerge the fruit in a container filled with uncooked rice.9 It is not recommended to refrigerate mangos, as the cold temperature will affect the quality of the fruit.10

Health benefits of mangos

One cup of mangos has 137.71 calories.11 The same amount provides 76% of your daily vitamin C recommendation12 for promoting healthy immune function13 and collagen formation,14 and 25% of your vitamin A,15 which is important for vision,16 bone growth,17 and maintaining healthy mucous membranes18 and skin19 — plus, it’s shown to help reduce your risk of cancer, according to a 2015 study.20

Along with having a wide range of vitamins and minerals, mangos contain antioxidants that may contribute to better health by providing antitumor, anti-inflammatory and antineurodegenerative properties.21 Mangos also contain carotenoids,22 which are important nutrients that must be obtained from your diet regularly.23 The potassium in mangos is an important cell and body fluid component to help control your heart rate and blood pressure.24 Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) is required for proper cognitive function and controls homocysteine levels within your blood, which may be harmful to your blood vessels and may cause stroke.25

One cup of mangos provides 12% of your daily dietary fiber,26 which has been shown to help reduce the risk of diseases such as stroke, hypertension and obesity by promoting gastrointestinal health.27 Moreover, mangos have been shown to protect against cancer of the colon, breast and prostate, as well as leukemia.28 Check out the nutrition facts of mangos below.29

Mango nutrition facts

Serving Size: 3.5 ounces (100 grams), raw
  Amt. Per
Serving
% Daily
Value*
Calories 83.46  
Calories from Fat    
Total Fat 0.38 g  
Saturated Fat 0.092 g  
Trans Fat 0  
Cholesterol 0 mg  
Sodium 1 mg  
Total Carbohydrates 14.98 g  
Dietary Fiber 1.6 g  
Sugar 13.66 g  
Protein 0.82 g  
Vitamin A 1082 IU Vitamin C 36.64 mg
Calcium 11 mg Iron 0.16 mg

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Studies on mangos

Scientists tested mangos and found that they stop certain colon and breast cancer cells in lab studies. They also showed some impact on lung, leukemia, and prostate cancers, but the most prominent effectiveness was against breast and colon cancer lines, which underwent apoptosis, or programmed cell death, and the mango polyphenolics did not harm normal cells. According to the report, mangos can still be considered a superfood for this reason, despite other foods contain more antioxidants30

Mango healthy recipes:
Mango, berry and banana smoothie

Mango Healthy Recipes

Ingredients

1 very ripe banana, peeled (preferably frozen)

2 Medjool dates, pitted

1 cup frozen mango chunks

3/4 cup coconut water

1/2 cup frozen blackberries or blueberries

1/4 cup plain yogurt, homemade from grass fed milk

1 tablespoon ground flaxseeds

 

Procedure:

  1. Place all ingredients in a blender and purée until smooth.

(Recipe from Bon Appétit31)

Mango fun facts

The paisley pattern, made popular in India, was inspired by the shape of a mango.32 The fruit also plays an important role in South Asian literature, appearing in many works throughout different cultures.33

Summary

They’re luscious, juicy and packed with different vitamins and minerals — what’s not to love about mangos? Having originated in South Asia long ago, this tropical fruit is now enjoyed throughout the world.

Mangos are a wonderful addition to salads, along with other fruits such as mandarin oranges, grapes, apples and pineapples. In addition to several beneficial vitamins and minerals, the antioxidants found in mangos may help promote other health benefits throughout your body.

However, be sure to consume mangos in moderation, as they contain fructose, which may be harmful to your health in excessive amounts.